Review will come... Lovely read, maybe too elaborate for the rather small plot but like the first instalment a great world with great characters to reReview will come... Lovely read, maybe too elaborate for the rather small plot but like the first instalment a great world with great characters to reside in. No disappointing sequel at all!...more
The story about Taya the ‘Icarus’ (a messenger flying across the city of Ondinium, on wings made of the feClockwork Heart, by Dru Pagliasotti
The story about Taya the ‘Icarus’ (a messenger flying across the city of Ondinium, on wings made of the feather-light metal ondium) starts mid-flight. Literally. On her way to deliver a message, Taya rescues Viera Octavus, one of the so-called ‘exalted’, and her son from an almost-crashing wire ferry. Because of her husbands political importance this may not have been an accident. Shortly after the wire ferry crash, Taya meets the 2 Forlore brothers who turn out to be Viera’s cousins. The intelligent, handsome, charming Alister and his seemingly socially inadequate brother Cristof (who voluntarily gave up his caste to work as a clock writher in Tertius). Alister easily sweeps Taya off her feet, especially at the ball thrown at the Octavus Estate in her honour. The relationship with Cristof slowly evolves due to his difficult, closed character and Taya’s distrust of him because of the way he acts/does.
Ondinium is a city powered by the great Engine, running on an ondium core. It’s divided into three sectors: Primus, Secundus an Tertius. Its inhabitants are also divided into different castes: ranging from the rich and noble born exalteds to poor labourers. Because of their importance to society, Icarii like Taya are not bound to their caste. Seeing how Taya grew up in Tertius, it means she has far more freedom.
I loved the flying lessons Taya gave! Don’t worry, I won’t tell to whom, but that really was a great scene with so much emotion! Fear, relieve, patience and then something more…;) No sappy romance there, merely a refreshing and real passage. There were many other moments I had to laugh out loud because of some –awkward, sarcastic or sweet- dialogues.
Taya is a lovable character; she’s brave, curious, ambitious, funny and down-to-earth despite being up in the air most of the time. The feelings/relationships she develops or already has, don’t feel forced. I could easily relate to her crush on Alister, as well as her annoyance with Cristof. Alister (being an ‘exalted’ means he’s forced to hide his face behind a mask in public) seems like the actual Prince Charming with his perfect looks and charisma. Until another side of him surfaces from behind his mask... Cristof really does seem to be the ‘awkward crow’ Taya so lovingly describes him as. Always dressed in black, with sharp edges both outside as well as inside. His grumpiness is funny, painful, sarcastic and pitiful at times. Buy his righteousness can be felt.
The setting is very original in my opinion and well thought through. It’s not just a flat cartoonish background, but has actual depth because of the social castes and political scams, etc. This could be a real functioning society. I do miss some more elaborate world building. The strange terms and surroundings that are Ondinium are being strewn around without much explanation or history, making it hard to envision some things clearly. Another example of the lack of description concerns some of the characters. I’m not quite sure how Taya looks (definitely NOT like the cover girl!) or what age she has. Besides the occasional difficult words (English is not my native tongue though, so…), the story read away pleasant and easily. The writing was fluid. Something exciting happened most of the time, whereas other chapters seemed to drag on a bit. It was not epic though, nor earth shattering or renewing enough to blow one away. In its genre this is kind of a mediocre story, a nice way to spend your time surrounded by pretty pictures (like the ball, again…!). A couple of days ago I read/finished The Iron Thorn and that felt so much more original and written so much stronger when it came to world building and plot. (Maybe because it was a set-up for a much more epic plot, a first part in the series.)
The plot took a turn I wasn’t happy with and couldn’t believe either. I didn’t want to believe it, I mean. Did not see it coming, or did not want to see it coming, maybe. But after a while, the story felt better and more natural. However, I didn’t find the plot that interesting. It was not exciting enough, I wanted it to be over with. It kinda dragged on after it seemed to be over and got confusing to me with the new side-plot and somewhat dry info. I caught myself skimming the pages, wondering how much longer it would take until things got resolved. Since I did care for Taya, Cristof and Alister, they were the main reason I kept reading.
The world and characters were the book’s strong points in my opinion, whereas the plot lacked a bit.
After finishing I was kinda sad to leave Ondinium, Taya, Cristof and the others behind. I really liked them and would like to know how the story continues. The ending wasn’t really open, it was happy and conclusive enough. But, the story offered more, Ondinium is a strange an interesting place and Taya’s journey has only just begun. Both are interesting enough to read more about.
Finley Jane kicks ass. Literally. So does Kady Cross for creating her.
This was a short and sweet read. Kady's way of writing is beautiful, I enjoyedFinley Jane kicks ass. Literally. So does Kady Cross for creating her.
This was a short and sweet read. Kady's way of writing is beautiful, I enjoyed her sentences as much as the steampunk world she created. It sort of felt like an ode to 'Frankenstein', with its dark atmosphere, mystery, intrigue and even a mad scientist. But on the other hand it was sweet and feminine too.
It's so good to finally read about a strong female heroine, even though the heroine feels her 'other self' is sort of evil. From what I've read so far, I don't think she's evil. She has a strong sence of justice and is willing to defend the innocent. That she enjoys the process doesn't seem wrong to me at all. She hasn't killed anyone yet, only maimed them ;)
I love Finleys sarcasm, her honesty, her big heart, her bravoury, her wits, her quick reactions. I love how she throws the failure of Lord Vincents steampowered horses (the same horses she saved Lady Phoebe from, during a carriage-ride spun out of control!) right back in his face when she finds us his nasty plans. I love how she's overwhelmed by the riches and kindness she finds herself in when becoming her employers daughter's companion. The poor girl, Lady Phoebe, is married off to Lord Vincent, a middle aged inventor who will ensure her fathers gambling debts will be paid for. I like the way Finley *finally* realises why she's *really* hired after having a conversation with Lady Morton, Phoebes mother. I like the way all the girls seem to bond so easily and enjoy each others company and the treats of life amidst all the peril surrounding them.
The world Finley lives in is amazingly cool, steampowered inventions all over, such as carriages, sewing machines, mechanical horses and automatons.
I'm hooked, which is a good thing because 'The Girl In The Steel Corset' lies waiting for me. The book, that is. Not Finley ;)
The Iron Thorn (The Iron Codex #1), by Caitlin Kittredge
This book is a Must-Read! It’s got something for everyone: steampunk, romance, adventure, dystThe Iron Thorn (The Iron Codex #1), by Caitlin Kittredge
This book is a Must-Read! It’s got something for everyone: steampunk, romance, adventure, dystopian, secrets, mysteries, great characters, monsters, strange worlds, faeries, a beautiful written story, a plot with unexpected twists…
Here’s the short(ish) version of the review: * The cover seems very fitting, it projects the grim feeling of dark fantasy in the story, while bringing across the lonely feeling Aoife must have had many times, surrounded by those grey skies and spying Ravens. 5/5 stars * Caitlin Kittredge has a very poetic writing style, beautiful sentences string the pages of this book together. However, the story wasn’t overwritten: I found every word interesting, every word was where it needed to be and added only to the plot and story. The style and use of prose enhances and complements the feel of the story completely. 5/5 stars *The characters are very interesting and very real. They have good and bad qualities, they doubt themselves, they grow, they make mistakes, their relationships change. They’re actual humans, not just stereotypes, and you really care what happens to them. 5/5 stars *The story itself has many different elements: steampunk, adventure, dystopian, mystery, romance, dark fantasy... One minute you find yourself in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie with all the secret chambers and flying airships, the next minute you’ve landed in a grim, alien-like Fairytale world. Madness and alternate worlds battle over one another, which one is the actual reality? Never a dull moment, but all is blended together perfectly with some unexpected twists. The action is not too overwhelming, or at cost of the story/feelings/characters. The story puts quality over quantity (despite it being sizable enough with almost 500 pages) and lacks no depth, thankfully. The ending is not disappointing, it is truly epic in proportions. 5/5 stars *The plot and the alternate worlds built here were immensely thought through and well described with many details. The whole thing has a dystopian feel to it and steampunk it definitely is. Slowly the story develops, with surprising twists that keep you interested the entire time. It’s kind of like reading an old-school adventure, with secret chambers, traps, airship-travels, and so on. Until the story takes a turn one did not see coming, seemingly unfitting the steampunk elements. Until the author made it fit, logically and extremely well. Convincing us of the strange reality of this strange world where time ticks to a different clock. Where there is darkness, there is light. Where there is reason, there is magic. 5/5 stars *All in all I find it a very original idea, an original world. The real world, the ‘Iron’ world, is scary with its rules and demands. Dictatorial, cold, scientific; medieval even in the sense of punishing so-called heretics who do not accept their truth as the only truth. The ‘Thorn Land’ may even be scarier with its unpredictability; inhabited by corpse-drinking Mists, the treacherous ‘Folk’ and trees that could swallow you whole and turn you into part of them. 5/5 stars
Here's an even longer review: Already in the first chapter, a dizzying amount of info is being dropped on the reader. Necessary info, for building the world our main character ‘Aoife’ lives in. The story is being told from Aoife’s point of view (in the first person). The city of ‘Lovecraft’, Massachusetts, is a grim place, with its 17 asylums due to the immensely consuming ‘necrovirus’ which has infected many people. One of those infected people is Aoife’s mother Nerissa, whom she visits her every week in the asylum where she is committed as a charity case. Aoife never knew her father. The necrovirus slowly consumes ones brain until its victim becomes a ‘nightjar’: a ghastly creature who in turn can infect someone, after biting them.
Lovecraft runs on a big machine at the heart of the city, built by the ‘Master Builder’ who has become the ‘God’ of Lovecraft. There are strict rules provided by the government concerning what ‘aether tubes broadcastings’ inhabitants are allowed to listen to, where they can and can’t go, what they can read and what ‘religion’ they must have. Heretics are people who do not believe in science and reality, but practice magic instead. Therefore, they are severely punished (old style, by partial or whole burning rituals) for their ‘lack of ignorance’, when caught by the ’Proctors’. Ravens (mechanically engineered ravens who have the ability to recreate an image which can be seen my a magic lantern of some sorts) are the Proctors’ little flying spies.
Aoife and her best friend Calvin Daulton both go the Academy of Engines, Aoife as a charity case or 'ward of the state'. As a young girl she is not afraid to admit when she’s scared, especially now her 16th birthday is coming up. The necrovirus is latent in her family; Aoife’s brother Conrad has already been infected and was committed to an asylum after trying to kill his sister. However, he escaped. About 4 times a year he secretly writes her a letter to let her know he is still alive and ‘well’. When he sends her a letter telling her to go to ‘Greystone’ (their biological fathers house) in order to save herself and help him, Calvin and Aoife go on a secret mission. Will she find Conrad in time, or has he been lost for good? Maybe even dead?
After seemingly saving Aoife and Cal from becoming ghoul dinner because of their initially chosen guide, the attractive but illusive Dean Harrison leads them out of the city. Dean is somewhat of a mystery, a heretic in his own way, but very loyal when it comes to standing at Aoife’s side. Aoife is not sure what to make of him at first, a liar, or not? Here’s a quote from Dean that illustrates both Aoife’s doubts as well as Deans perspective on life: "A touch of truth makes a lie worth believing." Their journey involves places Aoife has only heard rumours about, such as the Nightfall Market, the ghost of a bridge that supposedly crashed years ago (taking 21 victims along with it…) and an eventful flight in an actual airship. Encounters with deadly mud-like monsters called Shoggoths, causing one of the characters serious (possibly lethal) injury by injecting them with the virus. The ‘mad’ flashes and visions are beautifully written; truly painful, poetical craziness.
The evolving relationships are written very believable and natural, the characters seem very real. Aoife discovers and unravels more and more about her father; his strange, secretive clockwork driven house and her lost brother. When she learns of the ‘Land of Thorn’ she doubts herself even more at first. Could she really possess a power, a ‘Weird’, like her father before her? Or are these the first signs of madness, seeing how Nerissa spoke of the Land of Thorns as well? Aoife’s self-confidence and fear keep altering, the hope to find her brother keeps her going, even though the fear for the lurking necrovirus stays with her. Learning the truth, discovering who really is the bad guy, experiencing her father’s memories, realising nothing and no one is what it/they seem(s); all these things only seem to make Aoife stronger. She intends to fulfil the destiny which has been forced upon her in order to protect her loved ones.
The author really takes you along the journey of feelings Aoife develops for Dean, slowly but steadily. Since Aoife is afraid she has no future besides the one in the madhouse, she doesn’t allow herself to get involved with anyone at first, not even Dean. She doesn’t need distractions from her quest either, after all. But Dean is the first person who does not judge her for her family’s burden en believes her without a doubt. He’s an outcast, like herself. More than once he risks his life to save hers, mind you despite the fact Aoife is not your typical damsel in distress! (She’s independent, smart, brave, not afraid to speak her mind, good with machinery and doesn’t act the way a ‘properly brought up young lady’ should.)
Calvin finds it hard to believe in anything besides the Proctors’ truth and is convinced that everything happening to Aoife is just another sign of her upcoming madness. The way he looks down upon the ‘common’ people, even if Aoife is one of them too, is not a nice personality trait. The way he feels towards women’s behaviour and future may be considered ‘normal’ during the fifties, I find Calvins expectations degrading. I actually didn’t understand why he befriended someone like Aoife at first, because associating with heretics (Nerissa) is punishable and he keeps throwing that knowledge in Aoife’s face in one way or the other, practically saying she should be thankful to have him. I find him quite nasty and unbearable and cannot comprehend why he sticks to Aoife’s side. Until things finally become clear... He’s the guy you expect to turn on his friends in the end, because of his allegiance to his country/beliefs/so-called righteousness/whatever. (You know the type…) But maybe he is not what he seems after all…
I did not expect what was happening in the end. At all. Some important things turned out right, other things spiralled out of control into a huge, epic disaster. The only downside I can see? The book ENDED. With a major cliff-hanger! I am seriously DYING to know what will happen to Aoife, Dean, Cal and even Bethina. What will happen to Thorn and Iron, though we saw disturbing glances already. I’m not ready to leave this world yet, to leave Aoife and Dean behind. I wanna go along with them on their journey and I certainly will, once the sequel is out. Which hopefully will be soon. Yesterday, if possible. Pretty Please, Caitlin Kittredge????
Kady Cross herself meant her book as a cross-over between ‘X-men Teens’ and ‘ThThe Girl In The Steel Corset 4,5 stars
What a page-turner!
Kady Cross herself meant her book as a cross-over between ‘X-men Teens’ and ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’. She’s right; it’s a book set in that wonderful, ‘steampunkian’, Victorian era, telling about young adults with special powers. Though I haven’t actually read any of the gothic classics, this book seems like sort of an ode to them as well. We all know the movies about Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, etc. Those themes are explored further here, used as an inspiration. Even the descriptive, elaborate writing style adds to the feel of the book.
As opposed to the prequel ‘The Strange Case of Finley Jayne’, this book develops at a slower pace. Although that may be not the right terminology to use here, because the book almost immediately starts in the middle of a violent scene. Whereas ‘prequel-Finley’ seemed to be mostly good with a righteous heart, only partly taken over by her ‘Dark Side’ or ‘Other Self’, *this* Finley seems eager for blood. Admittedly, when faced with the situation she finds herself faced with, it’s understandable she wants to defend herself, or even hurt her opponent.
When Finley literally runs into Griffins velocycle -a sort of motor-bicycle powered by a special kind of energy (‘Ore’: something Griffs parents found while taking their journey to the centre of the earth. This energy powers almost entire London and is in the hands of Griffin), she finds herself awakening at Griff’s mansion. Griffin turns out to be the Duke of Greythorne. Because she feels imprisoned, ‘Dark’ Finley attacks anyone in her proximity. (Already, it gets kinda old...) Luckily Griff and his friends, Sam and Emily, aren’t normal either. Griff, for example, has a special connection to the Aether and recognizes Finley’s ‘abnormality’ instantly, without judging. He manages to settle her down with his power.
Details about the characters and environment create the right atmosphere. Griff has a nifty velocycle, retro-futuristic cell phones also exist, in the form of personal telegraph machines. Griffs ‘Aether’ machine could be compared to the internet, only broader. It allows him to make contact with those who have passed away, as well as find any information about people/things that is ‘out there’. Of course it doesn’t look anything like our computers, everything is made of metal, brass, wood etc. So-called ‘Automatons’ have taken over many jobs, though lately several of them have gone against their programs, attacking people, amongst them Sam.
Slowly the story evolves, but not so slow you’re losing interest. It’s nice for a change to read a story that goes a little deeper, tackles issues and mysteries before it gets snowed under by heaps of action. Kady Cross takes her time to give the reader more background info on the characters. She does this also by changing the points of view from which the story is told. We see things from not only Finleys view, but also Griff, Sam and Emily.
We learn where Griff got his wealth (actually, his parents did, and since they died in an accident a few years back, that makes him the duke and heir to the estate)and get to know Emily’s brilliance when it comes to fixing both people (sometimes with the help of ‘Organites’) and machines. Sam has been so brutally attacked by an automaton gone wild, he couldn’t have survived without the metal alterations Emily made to his body. He’s struggling to find a way to get over his fear for automatons and accept his new self. He’s coping even more with his feelings for both Emily and Griff, he knows they acted out of love yet at the same time he hates them for practically turning him into the same thing that almost caused him to die in the first place.
Emily’s research on the same automaton that attacked Sam showed nothing out of the ordinary. Its power source is still the same: ‘Ore’. Gradually this strange group of youngsters learn more about the way ‘Organites’ work. They enhance the powers they already possess, which is why Finley can’t control her dark side ever since she’s been treated with the ‘Organites’. Thankfully Griff gradually helps Finley merge her ‘two broken halves’ into one whole.
When Griffs Aunt Cordelia returns home (wearing a nose piercing and ear piercing which are connected by 6 iron chains, 1 for each year her husband has gone missing) we learn that Griffs and Finleys existences are coincidentally connected, their parents journeyed to the centre of the earth together in a group. After a talk with Finleys mom, Finley finally finds out why she is who/what she is. (view spoiler)[Her father was a brilliant scientist who used himself as a test subject often. With the help of Griffs father, he barely manages to return to his usual self after a sort of Jekyll and Hyde experiment gone wrong. For both men the test results were a cause for celebration; for Finley who was conceived after these experiments, they meant something similar happens inside of her. (hide spoiler)]
At night this ‘bad side’ of Finley mostly comes to live. It’s then she seeks out Jack Dandy, presuming her former employer (the one who came on to her but she fought off) is one of his followers. She feels Jack Dandy to be an equal to her ‘dark’ self, immediately drawn to his physique and dangerous vibe. Still, she can’t help compare him to Griff who’s been kind enough to provide her with shelter and new clothing, and wants nothing but her trust in return. At first. Also, he asked her to fight along their sides against the evil that makes London an unsafe place.
I loved the reversed roles in the scene where Griffs aunt Cordelia tries to enter Finleys mind to find out whether or not she is guilty of something. (Because whenever Finleys dark side takes over lately, she can’t seem to remember anything she did.) (view spoiler)[Finleys dark side fights Cordelia off, Cordelia’s nose starts bleeding from the strain, while Griff tries to disconnect their minds through the Aether. He succeeds but has to let his guard down, all ghosts lingering in the Aether overtaking him, almost causing his brain to explode because of the overwhelming pressure. To find refuge he manages to throw himself into the pool, the pressure escaping him in the form of steam. Finley comes to his rescue, disregarding her pounding headache, the burns the steam cause and scoops Griff up into her arms, carrying him back into the house. For a few steps that is, until Griffins male pride takes over and gently asks her to put him down. When Aunt Cordelia learns Finley is innocent and sees the way she cares for Griff, she is finally able to trust her. (hide spoiler)]
The scene in which Finley receives an exotic gift from an admirer, along with an invitation to a masked ball in Piccadilly Circus, is one of my favourites. I love the way Jack woos Finley.
Another lovely scene is the one where Griff comes to get Finley back, after she’s fled the mansion to stay at Jack’s. (view spoiler)[Sam challenges Finley to a fight, hoping to provoke her evil side to make his friends see she’s dangerous after all. When Sam nearly kills her, Finley almost kills him by molesting his artificial heart. Emily, Finley and Griff manage to rescue him but Finley decides to run. As soon as Griff finds out Finley is missing he reckons she must be at Jack Dandy’s and goes over there. He threatens to throw her over his shoulder if he must. Jack retorts in his charming cockney accent ‘that even he ‘as goose bumps.’ Griff *does* walk out of there with Finley over his shoulder. (hide spoiler)]
I liked every character, though it took me a while to like Sam. I got his hatred, but still didn’t take a liking to him. I found Finleys two sides fascinating, even more so once they were ‘fighting’ for their place at the same time. Her shyness opposed to her boldness, her fear opposed to her anger, etc. Griffin was likeable and cool in a careless way, but a bit distant. Still witty in his own way. Jack Dandy was great, claiming to be a bad guy when it was clear his heart was in the right place, especially when it came to Finley. Emily’s obvious heritage in the form of her accent, red hair and freckles softened her brilliance which was intimidatingly so. Her power to ‘speak’ to machines was one really tailormade. Renn was likeable too, the only thing that left me in the dark is the way he disappeared from the book...
The plot wasn’t huge or epic, but the story had enough action the entire time. Actually the plot was very meager, compared to the length of the story. I expected something bigger. However, I was curious to find out what ‘The Machinist’ was planning and why he needed a tunnel that ended right in one of Queen Victoria’s rooms. (view spoiler)[’Twas a very humorous moment in the book, when the team appeared through a hole in the floor of Queen Victoria’s room (after a claustrophobic tunnel trip in the place where Sam got attacked by the automaton), her majesty staring right at them. Just as it was funny Queen Victoria’s wax statue was stolen from Madame Tussaud’s and delivered at Jack Dandy’s doorstep, dressed in nothing but her undergarments! (hide spoiler)]
I can’t say I disliked ANYTHING in the book. Not a single chapter, paragraph or word even. I kept turning pages, wanting to know. I felt giddy and at awe the whole time, this is my new favorite book and author. Maybe for the sequel she could do with a better, more epic plot. Because of that and the fact that the story was maybe a little too elaborate compared to it, I give it 4,5 stars instead of 5.
My last point of critique is the absence of that one kiss I know all readers must have been waiting for. There was plenty of romance in the book, moments I wished I could experience myself, but I missed that kiss. Desperately. Because sense, sensibility and social classes can’t and mustn’t rule over true love. Right? ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Okay, so, it's probably ME. My life changed ever since I became a mommy, almost 6 months ago. Maybe my taste in books did too? Or maybe it was the factOkay, so, it's probably ME. My life changed ever since I became a mommy, almost 6 months ago. Maybe my taste in books did too? Or maybe it was the fact that I couldn't read this book non-stop...
However, I wasn't as in love with 'Clockwork Princess', as I was with the previous 2 books from 'The Infernal Devices'. The plot actually felt childish at times, simple. Some parts dragged on, whereas other parts seemed too 'easy'. Too quickly solved, too unbelievably 'good'. (Such as the bittersweet ending.)
I'm sorry to say this book won't linger on my mind, like some good books tend to do. No matter how well-written (elaborate) it is, how lovable the characters are, how vivid the environment is.
The book had some twists with a big wow-factor, though most of the story was predictable. I'm somewhat disappointed but seeing the ratings here on Goodreads, I do believe it's me.
Cassandra Clare's writing consistency does not fail. Maybe I ought to give this read another chance, preferably the whole series again. ...more
Ever since finishing the last page from ‘Clockwork Angel’, I have been yearning for ‘Clockwork Prince’ to be published! The Victorian world, the realistic characters, the elaborate story-telling, the witty dialogues, the thickly woven plot, the subtle romance… they wouldn’t let me go! A few weeks after the book was delivered, I finally had the time to get reacquainted with my old friend(s) again. Oh… how I love the Institute, Tessa’s quest to find herself, Wills sarcasm, Jem’s gentleness, Henry’s absentmindedness, Charlottes stubborn care, even Jessie’s shallowness. There were a couple of times I had forgotten what happened to whom and why in the previous book, but those questions were answered quickly and it was like I never left.
My only small point of critique, or rather a fact I noticed (maybe because it’s been pointed out in several other reviews already) is the abundance of book referrals. Yes, Tessa loves to read. Yes, Cassandra Clare knows her classics. Big deal. Perhaps it’s plastered on a little too thickly. Yes, I recognize some of these books/passages, but not all. Mind you, I’m not English. I’m Dutch. Still there are times I wonder whether I should be ashamed for not knowing these books, not having reads the classics, not comprehending the referrals. Should I?
Like these well-placed literary interludes, every single word in this book is in the right place. Everything happens for a reason, is part of the grand scheme which unfolds while eagerly turning page after page. Wheels are clicking into place, sometimes unravelling surprising information, making room for heart breaking scenes at other times. Every detail about the Victorian Steampunk-pimped era adds to the feel and atmosphere of the book, whereas every detail of the world of Shadowhunters seems to be based on real facts and truly existing ‘cultures’, not a poorly thought-through imaginative world.
Though Tessa’s quest for finding out who or what she is, is sort of the central theme of the book, the reader gets more: a grand tour of the world of Shadowhunters, and all its participants. The switching narratives give the reader a great insight in all characters, remaining true to each and everyone’s voice the entire time. Finally we learn WHY Will treats Tessa (and the rest of the world) the way he does… Oh my… Poor Will… Which, in turn, makes the natural way the friendship between Tessa and Jem develops into something more meaningful -no matter how sweet, realistic and understandable- even more bitter.
Even more so than the previous book, this book contains the perfect mix of action, character depth and surprising character growth/ change, unexpected plot twists, mysterious developments, very sensual and subtle romance, a gorgeous and realistic setting, laughter and tears. CC’s writing style never seizes to amaze or bore me, it’s all done extremely well, elaborate and in a style suiting the setting. Even the dialogues are written accordingly to the era. The awkwardness of discussing matters of one’s own heart are handled correctly, distant and in an appropriate manner. A bit like the politics of nowadays, where big sentences tell an enormous story, hardly expressing an opinion or stealthily avoiding the subject at hand.
The eye-candy that is the gorgeous cover of this book, continues on the inside as well. There’s no judging this book wrongly due to its cover. No shallow inside. For example, many beautiful poetic prose lines keep grabbing the reader’s attention, such as:
‘“No,” Tessa said. “I haven’t broken his heart at all.” Just torn my own in two.’
‘Pulling away from her had been like pulling his own skin off.’
It is very hard for me to express the ‘why’ of the deep love I harbour for ‘The Infernal Devices’ world and its characters. It’s just there. Most characters have earned a place in my heart, thanks to all the little details about them that bring them to life, as well as their big issues. Though I understand that certain choices had to be made the way they were made, I am curious how CC is gonna mend my shredded heart in ‘Clockwork Princess’. Let alone Tessa's torn heart... A huge sacrifice has to be made either way... I cannot believe I’ll have to wait an entire year before finding out what will happen to these characters I have come to love so dearly. I do not wish to leave my friends behind, yet. I am not ready for such a long goodbye.
This series has swiftly become one of my favourite series ever. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, I’ll forgive you for not knowing, but strongly suggest you pick it up as soon as possible. You have no reason to postpone this any longer. Do yourself that favour…
Parting is such sweet sorrow…
P.S. I apologize sincerely that various efforts on my behalf to keep the repulsive, obsessive fan-girl inside me caged and silent did not pay off entirely. Ever since the Masked Ball scene she has been going at it without any sort of dignity. I can hear her screams bouncing off the walls of my head, pulsating in my brain… Her fists pounding at my insides, her hands grabbing hold of my intestines, rattling my entire being, begging to be set free… I fear for my sanity if I do not admit her to speak freely, even if only for one time... After which we shall forget all about this outburst and I shall gladly stow her away into eternal oblivion once more, where a proper lady is supposed to reside... Let’s have it out then, shall we, fangirl?
A quick read; a story that captures you in the middle of the action, making you curious. Humorous, inventive and romantic, sexy even. A very originalA quick read; a story that captures you in the middle of the action, making you curious. Humorous, inventive and romantic, sexy even. A very original plot that deserves to be worked out more in a longer story. I'd buy the full-length book in a heartbeat because there are some interesting angles that could be explored.
It's nice though to read a quick story 'inbetween'. Something that leaves you satisfied and happy. Because of its 'shortness' it was to the point, which was fine and necessairy but I wouldn't mind more elaborate sentences and side-plots. This is why I'm giving it a 3-star rating instead of a 4-star rating, it lacked some depth and was sort of hastened/rushed towards the ending. I know this is because there was not enough time/space to develop everything/everyone, but it was a pity.
It deserves more, really. It deserves a full book, read by a huge audience. For now a sequel or prequel will do too ;)
Wow... Cassandra Clare is an excellent writer who takes her readers seriously, for a change. Despite the more challenging use of words, the book is stWow... Cassandra Clare is an excellent writer who takes her readers seriously, for a change. Despite the more challenging use of words, the book is still an 'easy' read. Meaning: it captures you. It captures you inside a beautifully created world, a very thought-through fantasy-world. A world I would love to love in. (Victorian England) It's obvious she's done her research, getting many details right. Details that make the story more realistic and alive. About the way people from different classes (not) were supposed to 'socialize', for example. The characters are great, I like the way you get more information about them while you're reading. I like the mysterie that surrounds some characters, still. I like it in a painful way even, now I'm left to hang here waiting for the sequel 'Clockwork Prince', extremely curious about someone's intentions at the end of the book. I am DYING to know what's gonna happen next. I love most of the characters, I've begun to know them like friends and I wanna stay in their world. I'm desperate to find out the real deal about Tessa.I really lived inside Tessa's world, seeing what she saw, feeling what she felt. I regret leaving now. I really do.
The book was action-packed, everything described very well so you felt like you were participating in the action. (I for one would love to see this translated to the big screen, it truely deserves a movie!) The story was well-written and well told, the plot had some nice twists, the characters developed throughout the story and were easy to sympathize with. I loved the variations in supernatural beings residing in Tessa's world and the original ideas regarding some of those upernatural 'things'. (Unlike some authors who stray from the 'original' fantasy in a ridiculous, unbelievable manner...) Don't read this if you don't want to be left behind yearning to find out the truth, the lies, the past and the future. Just don't....more